Lawmakers push for more schools to offer ‘breakfast after the bell’ program

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – State representatives just approved a program that would provide school breakfasts for thousands of Massachusetts students.

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, and thousands of Massachusetts students are going without it.

Now, a new proposal would mandate a “breakfast after the bell” program at certain schools.

Under the bill, the program would be required to be offered at all public K-12 schools where 60 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

Education advocates have teamed up with public health officials to show just how beneficial this program can be.

They found that it improved academic achievement, enhanced student health and increased attendance rates.

Northampton Rep. Linsday Sabadosa said told 22News, “It’s truly wonderful to see the kids being able to eat in the classroom, to do journaling, to have conversations, to interact with their teacher in low pressure ways, and it really just improves overall student performance.”

Many schools already offer similar programs but experts say the “breakfast after the bell” mandate would decrease food insecurity for more than 100,000 children in Massachusetts.

The bill is now being considered by state senators, and with bipartisan support from more than 90 co-sponsors it is expected to pass.

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